CityNews – November 4th, a picture of a Japanese man with a bruised face was posted on Facebook by a Facebook user, named Fang Fary, on November 3rd and has now gone viral.
The Facebook user also posted a message saying, “This uncle is Japanese. He was punched by a red songtaew driver. Somewhere around 9.30 – 10am, he took a songtaew from Hillside 4 Condo to Star Dome Golf Club to play golf. The price was agreed at 50 baht. But when the songtaew driver dropped him off outside the AIA building on Mahidol Road, close to Khatam Corner, at the entrance to Star Dome, the songtaew driver overcharged him. The uncle refused to pay extra. The songtaew driver then punched him, leaving bruised eyes and bleeding lips on his face.”
“The uncle didn’t dare to go out anywhere. He didn’t even want to be photographed. He regularly went to play golf by taking a songtaew and he had never found a problem before. Today he was attacked. I pity him. He has been in Chiang Mai for a long time. He loved Chiang Mai like his home. Yet he was injured. What is the songtaew driver’s heart made of? The uncle is old. Help! Don’t let the songtaew driver do the same thing to others. Please help share this post. The uncle doesn’t speak Thai. He didn’t dare to report to the police. His friend had experienced the same incident and reported to the police. But there was no progress made. So, he didn’t want to report to the police. He thought the police could not be of help.”
Meanwhile, another Facebook user, Nirvana Pariya, left his comment, saying “I witnessed the incident when I drove pass at around 10am. As the uncle was about to walk to Star Dome, the driver got out of his car and kicked him. The uncle used a golf club to fight back. But the driver punched the uncle on the face and walked away to his vehicle.”
After Chiang Mai police inspected the scene and studied CCTV footages, they were able to identify the songtaew driver as Arsang Aryiku, 39, from Sansai District.
Arsang admitted injuring the Japanese man, Istuke Shinoda, 76.
He told the police that they had an argument and the Japanese man threw money at his face. He then went into a rage. He also apologised for his actions and suggested other songtaew drivers not allow temper to control them.
The original Facebook post has since been deleted, following request by the victim, but the news is now being shared on the Facebook page Anti Red Taxi Chiang Mai with hundreds of likes.
He is now awaiting prosecution.